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Neon Trees Rock Bowery Ballroom
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate rock & roll,” said Tyler Glenn, lead vocalist of Neon Trees. He was absolutely right. On Monday night, the band showed off a bold, well-rounded sound, encompassing a blend of indie rock, new wave, synth pop, & classic rock styles – all in all, modern alternative rock at its finest.
“An Intimate Night with Neon Trees”, the first of two sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom in New York City, marked the eve of the release of Neon Trees’ sophomore album, Picture Show. The quartet from Provo, Utah (Glenn – vocals/synth, Branden Campbell – bass, Elaine Bradly – drums/vocals, & Chris Allen – guitar) & their touring guitarist, David Charles, played a stadium-worthy set of songs that left fans eager for the album’s midnight release.
Neon Trees introduced amped-up songs from Picture Show (“Moving In the Dark”, “Teenage Sounds”, “Everybody Talks”, & “Mad Love”), to an exuberant reception. Glenn then took to the stage alone to perform a touching, acoustic rendition of “Your Surrender” (from Habits, 2010), proving every good rock show has a poignant scene. The band reunited for “Love and Affection” (from Habits, 2010), “Weekend”, & “I Am the D.J.” (both from Picture Show), before concluding with their 2010 smash hit “Animal". It was at this point that Neon Trees really fulfilled the "intimacy" aspect promised for the night. Glenn playfully divulged that the beautifully infectious "Animal" was inspired by an intimate encounter in a Miata where his paramour bit his lip so hard it gushed blood.
The encore song, “Farther Down” (from Habits, 2010), was prefaced by Glenn addressing the capacity crowd, saying, “Leave this night a little bit bolder & a little bit more proud inside your gut. If you find yourself way, way, way, way down, hum this melody.” With those words of encouragement resounding in the concert hall, Neon Trees went on to play the final song of the night.
Their catchy setlist was completely devoid of dull moments. Neon Trees provided not only audial stimulation, but visual, too. Whether Glenn was touching hands with the crowd, playing synthesizer keys with his head, swinging a microphone in a lassoing motion, or moon-walking across the stage, he made sure everyone’s eyes had plenty of action to absorb throughout the show. This sentiment of providing visual & audial stimulation rings true for the presentation of Neon Trees’ new album, as well. Each track from Picture Show has a unique, corresponding poster available for download online, so if you missed the show on Monday, you can still rock out to the album with your ears at attention & your eyes wide open.
1. Moving In the Dark
2. Teenage Sounds
3. Sins of My Youth
4. Everybody Talks
5. Mad Love
6. In the Next Room
7. Calling My Name
8. Your Surrender
9. Love and Affection
10. Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night)
13. I Am the D.J.
15. Farther Down